Have you ever wondered about home canning? Maybe how you can preserve the food you grow or purchase during the Summer? Are you not really sure where to begin? Well, you are in luck. Today we have our Canning Tips for Beginners for you.
Home canning is making a comeback and with good reason. With food prices climbing as fast as a pole bean it can be a frugal alternative to store bought and of course there is the added benefit of knowing exactly what is going into the jar. For the beginning canner it can be a little scary to try your first batch especially when you think about all the tools needed for pressure canning. What is a good starting point?
There are many different canning and preserving methods. Why not start with a Water Bath Canning System?
There are three levels of the water bath canning system to consider. The first is the most expensive, but it takes all the guess work out of canning – it’s the FreshTEch Automatic Canning System. We used it for our Italian Pasta Sauce recently and fell in love with it!
The second option is the FreshTech Electric Water Bath Canner + Multi-Cooker. This appliance serves multiple purposes, which for me is a great feature. I recently attended the Ball Can-it-Forward Day as one of their Ambassadors and did a couple TV segments on the Indianapolis WISH TV. We made our Spicy Corn Salsa in this Water Bath Canner, and we cook our sweet corn in it as well.
The last option, is a very large pot. Most kitchens have pots that can double as boiling water bath canners. A boiling water bath canner is simply a large, deep saucepot equipped with a lid and a rack. The pot must be large enough to fully surround and immerse the jars in water by 1 to 2 inches and allow for the water to boil rapidly with the lid on. This method is definitely the most economical. And one that if you are comfortable with canning, definitely serves the purpose.
I’m guessing that most of the utensils needed to process with this method can be found already in most everyone’s kitchen, and if you still need to purchase the items they won’t break your budget and that’s one of the main reasons your thinking of canning anyway, right?
Here’s a list of the basic equipment needed to start…
- Spoons – you’ll need them for stirring, mixing and measuring
- Knives – for peeling and cutting
- Measuring Cups – for both dry and liquid measuring
- Colander or Strainer
- Towels – you need to set the hot jars on a towel to prevent shocking and breaking of jars
- Timer – needed to accurately measure processing times
- Scale – nice but not necessary
- Boiling Water Bath – we love the FreshTech Electric Water Bath Canner + Multi-Cooker, but you can also use a Canning Pot with Rack
- Canning Utensil Set – comes with a Jar Funnel, Jar Lifter, Lid Lifter and the Bubble Remover and Headspace Tool
- Jars – buy new or use older ones that are free of cracks or chips
- Lids – use new only
There are some other really cool and helpful canning tools as well (I have listed them below) but they aren’t necessary, they just make the canning process a bit easier and more fun.
- Ball Sure Tight Band Tool – great if you have trouble tightening the rings
- Collapsible Funnel – stores away easily
- Secure Grip Hot Jar Handler
- adorable Canning Labels
Now there are limitations to this method, you can’t use it for all vegetables but it will do for a variety of them and for most all fruits.
Some common fruits that can be processed with this method…
- Jellies and Jams of the above
- Brined Pickles
- Fresh-pack Pickles
- Fruit Pickles
There is a sense of satisfaction with canning, and if you have young children there’s a sense of wonderment that comes from them when you involve them in the process, especially when the jars cool and they hear the metallic pop of the lids sealing. I still remember the look on my kids faces the first time they witnessed this…priceless.
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